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Tracey Rangel Cruz

Divorce and separation Attorney at Santa Barbara, CA

4.8   17 reviews
  • Licensed for 24 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1999
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Tracey

Learn Tracey’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    Handle all types of family law matters, including divorce, legal separation, child custody, paternity, child support, spousal support, premarital agreements, restraining orders, modification of orders, and all issues relating to family law. Caring, thorough and compassionate representation for individuals facing difficult family law cases.

    19 years, 500 cases

  2. Child custody

  3. Family
    Handle all types of family law matters, including divorce, legal separation, child custody, paternity, child support, spousal support, premarital agreements, restraining orders, modification of orders, and all issues relating to family law. Caring, thorough and compassionate representation for individuals facing difficult family law cases.

    19 years

  4. Criminal defense
    Former prosecutor in New Orleans Violent Offender Strike Force Unit and the Ventura County Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Unit. Have handled all types of criminal matters, including murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, carjacking, drug and alcohol offenses, domestic violence and DUI'S. Defense of clients charged with criminal acts in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Ventura Counties.

    28 years, 1,000 cases

  5. DUI and DWI
    Handle DUI offenses, including all phases of criminal prosecution and DMV hearings.

    24 years

Contact Tracey

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Tracey Rangel Cruz Attorney at Law
1035 Santa Barbara St.
Second Floor
Santa Barbara, CA, 93101


4.8 / 5.0
  17 customer reviews
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Posted by Maya | January 19, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Absolutely Wonderful
Tracey and her team are extremely dedicated, compassionate and professional! I feel like a struck the jackpot when I hired her! She and her assistant, Channy, took on my case when I was in a dire and desperate situation and showed so much understanding, patience and competence. Through a long process with many hearings, they navigated through a complex family law case and a restraining order with multiple witnesses and evidence. Tracey’s demeanor, professionalism and expertise in court were phenomenal and she instantly earned credibility in front of the judge. She knows her job so well and is incredibly in tune with the intricacies and nuances of the laws and the California judicial system. She was always honest with me and laid our realistic expectations without sugar coating anything. She and her team often worked late nights and weekends to prepare for my case and were there for me professionally and personally. We won the case and through her commitment and hard work I was able to keep my children safe. I couldn’t recommend her enough!!!
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Posted by anonymous | June 9, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Wonderful lawyer
I loved her and her team! They were so professional and kind. She helped me navigate the waters of a very nasty divorce. I kept my house and now I have a new boyfriend. Life is great.
Posted by Anna | July 15, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Could not be happier with my lawyer!
I was dreading the legal process and fighting my husband over our money and our children. He had threatened to take custody away and leave me in the worst place he possibly could, financially. I didn’t care about our material things but I did care about our children. Tracey sat down with me and explained the court process, the laws, and the realities of what to expect. She worked to get my case ready for court and she knew just what I needed to do. She advised me about a fair settlement and not to give up more than I wanted to simply out of fear. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t because I deserved my fair share of our assets and I am glad that I stood firm. Tracey writes beautifully and expressed my points in court perfectly. When we were in court, she was confident and polished. She is definitely the epitome of a professional and experienced lady lawyer. She’s a fighter dressed up in a suit and pearls and all, but she will fight for you. I could not be happier with how she handled my case — give her a try you won’t be sorry!
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Posted by Aaron | November 8, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I recommend her without any reservation
Tracey Cruz is an atypical attorney in every respect. She charged me less money than she said she would, she accomplished everything she said she would try to accomplish for me and more, and she did not lie to me a single time or mislead me in any way. Additionally, she genuinely cared what was going to happen to me and made sure nothing bad happened to me. She is a very capable attorney and always employs an excellent staff, which is a great testament to her. I have been a client over the past 4 years, and she has always maintained employees who know what they are doing, care about you and your case, and are quick and attentive. Most recently, Morgan Hoover has gone above and beyond to help me. I currently live in Los Angeles where the police arguably have a less than exemplary reputation. Believe me, the Santa Barbara police are even more corrupt and motivated by money. Just Google Kasi Beutel if you are naeive enough to doubt that for a second. Add this to the fact that most attorneys in Santa Barbara are very subpar in ability, will lie to you, and don't care. Don't mess around with your life, do your research and hire Tracey Cruz.
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Posted by anonymous | October 27, 2014
Top Notch Attorney
A very satisfied client. I am so grateful to have Tracey as my attorney. I highly recommend Tracey. She was very confident and successful in my divorce court case!
Posted by anonymous | October 27, 2014
DUI Nightmare
I recently hired Tracey Cruz to represent me in a DUI case. The CHP arrested me while I was parked in an empty parking lot on an early Sunday evening. The Officer drove up next to my window and told me he was investigating a report of a stolen vehicle in the area and noticed that I was not parked between the marked parking spaces! Tracey went out of her way to get the CHP video, the Dispatch tapes and I met her in the Parking lot to film a defense video showing the clearly unmarked parking spaces where I was contacted. Tracey went to the prosecuting attorney with all of the information. She was also able to show the Officers probable cause was sketchy at best. The BOL for the stolen car was a red older model truck. I was parked in a newer Black SUV. Tracey also discovered the CHP dispatch canceled the BOL approximately 5 minutes before contacting me. Tracey went to the Prosecutor with the information and the prosecuting DA offered an agreeable settlement! Tracey really took a personal interest in my case and went out of her way to save me a lot of money and headaches!
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Posted by shawn | October 14, 2014
The BEST lawyer in Santa Barbara
I first et Tracy in 2010, needing a lawyer to help me out with my divorce. At the time I was looking for legal advice and she told me everything I needed to do. Shortly after that my ex-wife continued to accuse me of some pretty awful things that had to do with my children so I asked her what my options were. She didn't hesitate to help me. During that time I was only seeking advice. It wasn't until 2011 that I called Tracy back to let her know that my was dragging her feet with the divorce and I just needed it over as soon as possible. Tracy didn't waste anytime. When I said "as soon as possible" she took that to heart and less than a month later my divorce was final. Over a year and a half later while on my second deployment I found out my ex-wife had been doing some pretty unimaginable things and putting my children in the middle of it. We talked about the case on a weekly basis for about 2 months. One day Tracy called me and said "Shawn I want more than anything for you to win this case, but because I'm based out of Santa Barbara and the judge you it will be hard because he doesn't really care for Santa Barbara lawyers". Let's stop there for a second. (1)Tracy thought enough of me and my kids that she would refer to a local lawyer. (2) That took money out of her pocket and put it in someone elses. (That's pretty SELFLESS if you ask me). Tracy then asked me if I would be ok with her drafting all the paperwork up for my new lawyer, of course I told her yes. The hours she spent working on my case by herself aswell as assisting my new lawyer was awesome. Because of the paperwork she drafted up and the countless hours she put in I now a single FATHER have 100% custody of my children. Tracy was there for me anytime I needed anything and when I hadn't spoken to her in over a year and a half she remembered everything about me my children and my case. When you hire Tracy you aren't just getting a lawyer you are getting someone who truly loves their job and someone who take every case personally and to heart. I would 100% recommend her to anyone.
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Posted by anonymous | October 14, 2014
Solid Family law did not back down allowing me to be an equal parent.
I have worked with Tracey through a contentious child custody divorce proceeding. She has remained steadfast in attention, knowledge and truly concerned in what goes on with me and my child's life. After firing my first attorney, who was inept, I went to court with her and as a team we prevailed so that I was able to become an equal parent in what had appeared to be a lopsided victory before I took action and replaced my first attorney. An attorney is someone that works for you, but you must make some hard decisions and give them guidance. Some people don't get that, especially if it is your first run in the legal/court world. I believe that while she gave me sound advice she never directed me to settle for anything less than I truly wanted which was to be an equal parent. She is a former DA and a parent. Very savvy in the court room.
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Posted by anonymous | September 12, 2014
I needed help with a child custody and support issue. Tracey was able to handle this in a very professional yet friendly and quick manner. Her entire staff was great to work with and I would hire her again!
Posted by anonymous | August 6, 2014
Legal matter
Tracey handled my son's DUI case and her staff were great and nice people to talk when you had questions they were able to answer them. I lived out of town from Bakersfield, CA. They handle all my services and did a wonderful job. Again thanks to Devin , Tracy assistant ,who was amazing.......... Plus the other staff...... from client (mother)
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Posted by Ian | July 9, 2014
Tracey is the real deal. I was in a real time crunch, and she did some amazing work in "break neck" time! Thanks Tracey!
Posted by Ben | February 25, 2014
Tracey to the rescue!
I was down and out. I felt hopeless and helpless at a time when my infant son needed me the most. New to the area and no friends, I turned to Tracey Rangel Cruz for help and she was there to rescue us. She is highly knowledgeable, strategic and effective. Against all odds, I was successful in my case and my son's safety was the result. Our lives are forever changed for the better and I owe it all to Tracey. Words on a website can't express my gratitude.
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Posted by anonymous | May 3, 2013
Excellent Family Law Attorney
Its difficult to put into words what Mrs. Rangel Cruz did for our family. First off, would like to say that we found her after asking another Attorney for a referral. He is a family friend and doesnt do family law. He highly recommended Tracey. My daughter was going through a very stressful divorce with child custody issues. Her ex husband was violent and we were extremely concerned for her safety as well as the safety of our Grandchildren. Without getting into any personal details, Tracey did the impossible. If we were to draft the perfect outcome, that is what she obtained for our family. We remain forever grateful for all that she and her staff did for us.
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Posted by Bruce | January 27, 2013
Satisfied client
I met with four lawyers and none of them were a good match until I met with Tracey. She put me at ease and made me feel really comfortable. She answered all my questions clearly and concisely. She gave me several different strategies for handling my case, and possible outcomes and costs. I was very happy with the service and subsequently referred several friends and family members who also reported good results. I give her my highest recommendation.
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Posted by Gloria | February 29, 2012
Great job
Fantastic service, what a great attorney! Tracey answered all my questions and she did a great job in court.
Posted by Stephanie | February 18, 2012
Brilliant, professional and dedicated.
Compassionate and understanding are words that best fit Tracey and her dealing with my case. The results obtained by Tracey could well have been life changing, she’s capable of reading your enemy’s mind, she’s decisive and knows how to knock off arguments and knock their teeth so to speak out of their mouth and pound it even more until they finally capitulate. Never seen a lawyer like her. She’s good at what she does; it’s a pleasure watching her.
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Posted by Andres | October 14, 2014
In the words of my expert attorney: "Tracey wasted your time, money and actually made your situation worse."
Last summer I was forcefully being escorted out of a party in Santa Barbara on the basis of not knowing anyone there. I took self defense and woke up in the hospital with 5 stitches after someone smashed a bottle over my head. The witnesses and "victims" were intoxicated, surrounded me and used physical force against me. To my utter disbelief a month later I was mailed a notice that I was being charged with 242 PC M Assault and Battery. I hired Tracey on 10/21/13 and received a confirmation email notifying me of my payment, I did not hear from her again until almost 2 months later until 12/9/13 the day before my final hearing. Within that time period I sent her personal emails, called her several times, spoke with her assistants and asked for her to get back to me, she never did. I received a call from Tracey at around 6:00 PM on 12/9/13, she was calling to tell me about a settlement she wanted me to agree to. When I inquired why she had not responded to any emails, phone calls or messages left for her with her assistants, she responded simply with "I thought we were trying to get a hold of you", then she proceeded to tell me the "good news." She had received a settlement offer from the DA which was "my best option." The settlement was that I would admit to a crime I was wrongfully accused for, I would have 3 years probation, up to $2,000 in fines and I could no longer visit Isla Vista; to my "benefit" the DA would not pursue jail time. My short conversation with Tracey revolved around me asking her why I would ever agree to this and how this was even considered a settlement. She responded several times with this statement: "the DA will not pursue jail time, although they probably couldn't anyway because there were no serious injuries done to the victims." Then she proceeded to accuse me of the crime I was being charged with "well you did punch them,you battered them. There is no defense for that" (Tracey R. Cruz). I told her I needed time to think about the settlement, she replied by saying that the hearing was at 8:30 AM the next morning and I needed to make a decision. I could not believe that she had disappeared for more than 1&1/2 months and decided to call me the night before my hearing. I told her to ask the judge for more time, so that I could think about it and do some research. I was then informed that, without notifying me, she had asked for more continuances "I have asked for several extensions and I do not think the Judge will grant another continuance." At that moment I decided to cut my losses, fire Tracey and hire myself a new attorney. I told her to tell the judge she was being replaced and to please give me more time to find a new attorney. At the time I was a UC Engineering student (now graduated) with no previous criminal record, had hundreds of community service hours and had worked as a tutor/mentor for underrepresented Sr. & Jr. high students in Santa Barbara; it was almost 100% guarantee that the judge would not give me any jail time. Unfortunately it dawned on me that I could have gone into my own hearing weeks earlier, explained the situation, shown my $10,000 in medical bills, and at the very least gotten the exact same sentence if not a way more lenient one or even have gotten the judge to dismiss the case. Tracey had been absolutely useless. I was granted the extension and found an expert lawyer with 100% positive reviews on yelp and avvo. My new attorney felt for my situation and explained to me that Tracey had not helped at all and actually made my situation worse. He said he usually did not comment on his fellow professionals but he did not have high regards for her work, reputation and in this case she had wasted my time and money. Have a clue. Say no to Cruz!!
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AVVO RATING 9.1 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Criminal Defense & Family Law Practice
  • 2004 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Snyder, Maho & Prentice
  • 2000 - 2003
  • Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
  • Ventura County District Attorney's Office
  • 1999 - 2000
  • Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
  • New Orleans District Atorney's Office
  • 1995 - 1998
View all work experience


  • UCLA
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1991
  • University of California at Los Angeles School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • N/A

Legal Cases

  • People v. R. A.
  • Case Dismissed.


  • Santa Barbara County Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A

Honors and Awards

  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2017

Speaking Engagements

  • Civil Rights
  • Invited Speaker
  • 2013
  • UCSB
  • Invited Speaker
  • 2012
  • UCSB Law and Civil Rights
  • Invited Speaker
  • 2011

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (8)
Endorse Tracey
Family Attorney | Oct 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Tracey is very knowledgeable and a wonderful advocate for her clients. Tracey is reasonable, kind, professional, and a pleasure to work with on family law matters."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Tracey Rangel Cruz, an attorney with great experience in several areas of law devoted to her clients while diligently representing with intellect and compassion."
Family Attorney | Mar 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Tracey is extremely hardworking and devoted to her clients's needs. She understands the complexity of each individual situation and brings a warm and caring presence. She will work around the clock to be an advocate for her clients. She is a very experienced attorney and I would recommend her for any family law matter."
Family Attorney | Mar 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Feb 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mrs. Cruz is a hardworking, dedicated and extremely knowledgeable attorney. She is highly regarded by her colleagues and is known for getting the best possible outcomes for her clients."
Personal injury
Criminal defense
General practice
Divorce and separation
Bankruptcy and debt
Criminal defense
Estate planning

Avvo Contributions

This attorney hasn't created any legal answers in Q&A or legal guides recently on Avvo.

Santa Barbara Divorce and separation Lawyer Tracey Rangel Cruz
Tracey Rangel Cruz
Divorce and separation Attorney
Santa Barbara, CA
Licensed for 24 years